Participants:

Dante_icon.gif Matteo_icon.gif

Scene Title A Prince By Any Other Name
Synopsis Matteo and Dante meet and have wine in The Rose
Location The Blooming Rose
Date 14 Kingsway, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Matteo's Antivan pride being greatly offended
Logger Matteo

Anyone surprised to see a pirate in this area? No? Good, because Matteo, for all that he isn't dressed in the manner of the locals, otherwise fits right in. There's such a lack of giving a damn about what the more daring stalls are selling that they may as well not even exist. He's here talking to a man at one of the stalls who looks vaguely uncomfortable AND unhappy and the other merchants are trying to not stare as they prepare for the evening's customer flow. Probably in hopes that the man doesn't visit whatever wrath he has on them. From the few catches that can be heard, it's something about the cargo and a definite threat to place the remainder right at this man's doorstep.

Dante has been spending his days… Well, not at the Rose. Just turns up to work in the evenings. Where he's been outside of that? That might be anyone's guess. Wherever it is, it is more respectable than his place of work. At least, if one determines his goings by how he is dressed. Yes, he's still in silks, embroidered to point of near gaudiness. Yes, he's still trim fitted, and his hair still smells of fragrant oils. But his shirt is laced, and there is a coat over his arm as he comes into the Western square that, were he wearing it, he might just not look much like one in the Rose's employ. Almost respectable. And pensive, too, the flippant air and easy smile missing in this moment. But there's a voice he knows, and it stops him, making Dante looking around until his eyes land on the Captain. Not immediately approaching, he waits to see how the business decides to conclude itself.

Honestly, it's probably not the conclusion Matteo wants, because that cargo resulted in damage to his ship. The small dagger he pulls out to pin the man's sleeve to the counter of his stall with probably would have felt better (on Matteo's part) going into this merchant's eye. "You have a month, my friend." He warns in the most pleasant tone before turning away from the stall as if they'd just been discussing the price of tea. He'd almost been ready to leave when he spots Dante and the smile becomes a little more genuine. "Dante! I had thought you would already be the center of attention at this hour. I must remember to visit the chantry in thanks for my luck. Later, perhaps."

As it turns out, Dante is quite familiar with the procedures of when business deals turn sharp. The drawing of that blade doesn't make him flinch at all. Antiva had taught him plenty of useful skills on that front. The air of melancholy lifts as Matteo turns toward him, and he is thrown a charismatic smile in return. "Ah, no, it is too early for me." Dante says with a laugh, "Not much of a morning person, you know." Lies. But he had carefully crafted the perception nevertheless. Matteo may have noticed light from Dante's cabin, though, earlier than much of the ship, when they had been at sea. "I take it you were looking for me then, Captain?"

Matteo doesn't really miss much, but he's also not the type to go against anyone else's constructs. He's had to put on a few of his own. "My dear man, there are only two things that bring me to the area. Homesickness and the chance that we will run into eachother. As it happens, to day it is both. It occurred to me that I have not seen you in some time. Since that is a crime and I am- on land at least- a law abiding man, here I am."

Dante laughs again, opening an arm to drape over Matteo's shoulder. "Very well then, Capitan." He says, grinning, "Care you come into the Rose to drink or shall we depart to elsewhere?" As it turns out, Dante doesn't much care either way. Technically speaking, if he was on the floor in the Rose, he was supposed to be working, but honestly, that rule could shove off. He could be 'working' and he knew well enough how to not seem appealing to those looking for services.

Matteo tips his head in thought. "And now I must decide where I am to be the envy of everyone. I did say I was homesick, so the Rose it is. Unless you have a taste for quiet and finer wines. And, I suppose, for scandalizing those who will be trying very hard to convince everyone they do not recognize you. Such a shame. My mother was celebrated, songs sung in her name. Here they do their best to pretend their spare coin has all gone to the Chantry."

"At least no one looks away ashamedly in the Rose. Let's stay here." Dante says with a shake of his head. "Besides, we have some very nice wine. We just keep it in the back." And so he leads the way to the Rose, holding the door open and hanging up his coat as they walk in. The laces of his shirt are loosened, and after nodding at an open table, Dante disappears into the back to fetch one of the aforementioned bottles.

"Then to a place where there is at least a temporary presence of sense. I will still be, for a little while, the envy of the crowd." Matteo agrees as they head in, and there really is nothing about his entry into the building or his approach to the table that says he should be anywhere else.

A few minutes later, Dante returns, bottle in one hand, and two glasses in the other. With a grace befitting his profession, Dante sits down. But not in a seat. No, no, right down in Matteo's lap as though it is the most natural place in all the world for him to be. The glasses are set down, the wine, already opened in the back, poured. And he takes up one glass for himself and lifts the other for Matteo to drink from. It seems he intends of feeding him the first drink, after which he can take the glass himself.

Matteo moves an arm to Dante's back as if this were the most natural thing in the world, taking the first drink from the offered glass before offering a pleased smile. "You do know how to choose wine, yet you could offer me a glass of vinegar and it would still taste sweet." He compliments as he reaches to take the glass for himself. You, my dear, should be the jewel of this place."

"And you are one for quite grand flattery." Dante says with a laugh, punctuating with the first drink of his own wine. Lounging against Matteo's arm… Yes, he is technically working. If someone approached him for a night, he would go. But who would, with him draped in some man's lap already? "I am no grander than the others who work here, though I will never not accept your praises."

"You, my friend, are very wrong and should just accept that I am a man who never lies when it comes to beauty." Matteo insists, and then moves on as if that were that. "Now you must tell me how this city is treating you. You are at least well taken care of in this place? I do not know what standards they keep in Kirkwall or how well this place treats its employees." Which implies that he'd have a problem with any mistreatment. "You are at least passingly happy here?"

Well, that gets a roll of Dante's eyes, but it is good natured and accompanied by a grin. "It is well enough." Dante says, drinking again, "The pay is decent enough, it's clean. I can take care of myself, so that's really all I need." As to happiness? Well, he can't speak to that, so he's not going to. "Apparently the Chantry is offering honest work, but honestly, I know the lifestyle I am accustomed to, and their pay is not enough to support it."

"Honest work usually means toil and your hands would never survive it. It would also be an offense to the Maker to put you to such tasks. Were it not so, I would ask you to my crew once repairs are complete." Matteo decides, still watching Dante's face. "Yet, if you wish to go somewhere you will be appreciated, I would gladly take you there. Let the 'honest work' go to those with hands that were meant for it. The rest of us must make do with our looks and wits."

Dante looks down at his hands at that. Protected by fine gloves for so much of the work he did do, they were still fair. "I care not for the delicacy of my hands." Dante says, a little more seriously than he likely meant to it. It's not quite a bite, but there's an edge there. "Maker's breath, I killed a man in this very room not but two months past." He gives a slightly more genuine, but more somber laugh then, drinking deeply and then refilling his glass. "But I appreciate your offer, Captain, and should I find some place I wish to be more than this, I will be sure that you know."

"Very well. I will make you the offer when she is whole again." Matteo promises. "One that will still protect the delicacy of your hands. There, you see? Beautiful and dangerous. What more could anyone ask for? You know, should come visit me now that my ship is no longer listing. She is still a joy."

"I am sure she is." Dante says, sipping a little more slowly at this second glass. "I will come visit you whenever you like, Captain. You're as close to home as I'm going to get for a very long time." If not ever, but he's not going to think about that too hard. Knowing his mother, the stubborn woman would outlive him just to make a damn point. Though, perhaps they still hoped that their prodigal son would see sense. Maybe. Though what 'sense' they hoped for was a sort Dante hoped he would never be able to swallow. "Matteo, I am curious… How much did they pay you to keep you from asking questions? They never did tell me."

"My dear man, I am wounded." Matteo puts on a look that's certainly genuine hurt until it's not and he grins. "Certainly enough to convey a prince, but that is not what bought my silence. If fools wish to pay a pirate that much, I am not one to keep them from it. You are the one who bought my silence." This time there's no acting, his tone is genuine, if a bit somber. "And if my ship is as close to home as you can come, then you may visit when you like."

At that, Dante blinks, and looks at Matteo over his wineglass, for he had been in mid drink. "Me?" He says, tilting his head a degree in confusion. "How in the world did I manage that?" Enough to convey a prince. Well done, father, answer the questions before they are even conceived. Not always the brightest man, that one.

"Oh the payment was for no questions asked, but like knows like. I recognized what I saw." Matteo is obviously not going to label what he saw, but it's likely he doesn't need to. "Who am I to ask things better left to lay?"

Like knows like… That makes Dante blink. He liked Matteo well enough, that was certainly true, but the likeness between them? He was drawing a little bit of a blank there, perhaps due to his own ignorance. "Well, it the last of my father's money I am going to be able to waste so… If you've ever a mind to ask those questions, I won't tell anyone you asked." Dante says with a laugh, "And you might just be the only person I would give the honest answers to." Or maybe he was just seeking someone and somewhere he didn't need to lie to. That wasn't the Chantry, because that just… He was faithful, sure, but too much of a good thing, you know.

"You can tell me what you like. Myself? I had to leave behind the woman I loved in order to save her status and my own skin. Married noblewomen are not for the sons of whores. I think your cut may go a bit deeper and I am not so cruel as to open it with my hands covered in salt. Yet, once my ship can sail again, it may not be the last of your father's money you see. If that's what you'd like. For me it is the sport as much as the spoils."Matteo grins. "Who knows? His coin may yet repair the ship that will hunt the rest of that coin down at sea!"

Well that… Dante was legitimately not expecting that. Enough so that he chokes on his wine. His eyes water at the sting of alcohol in his sinuses, and he sets the glass down. He pauses to catch his breath, and blinks away the tearing up. "Maker's balls…" He curses, shaking his head. "You know, I would say that it would be delightful sport, but someday my father will die, and I would like to have an inheritance left to go claim." He thinks on that for a moment. "Then again, as good as you are, I doubt one pirate vessel could steal away the whole of Antiva's wine trade…" Well, THAT will certainly give away who the fuck Dante is.

Matteo hands over a square of linen before tipping his head to give Dante an appraising look, but that's all gone within seconds and he's all regret. "My apologies, I did not mean to shake you so." He shrugs one shoulder and the grin is back. "You inherit a little now, you inherit a little later, either way you cannot take it with you to the grave and neither can he." And yes, he's put the pieces together. He's not going to mention the picture the puzzle is showing. "And yet, what sport it would be to try."

Dante takes that square of linen, dries his eyes, and offers it back. "It's fine." He says, shaking his head, "I just… I wasn't aware I was so obvious." He takes pride in his mask, in fact. But nevermind that. "Alright. Well, when she is sea ready again, you let me know, and we'll see how much of a headache we can give the old man."

"For anyone else? No. Yet a man does not leave Antiva the way you did with the mask you wore. It is not as if I am a master at these things and I truly did not know the whole of your story. Merely that it must have been with a dagger in the soul that you left with such a face." Matteo backs up the reassurance with a genuine smile, which isn't nearly as broad as his usual. "You see? We will make a pirate of you yet. It always helps to have friends in the business if you are going to become a merchant."

"I mean, Antiva has made enough pirates in her history. It's practically a tradition." Dante says with a laugh. He's not going to dwell on Matteo seeing through his mask. It… Well… The most he manages is resting his head upon Matteo's shoulder with a small sigh.

Matteo laughs. "Ah, but to have lured you into piracy? We will merely have to draw alongside the vessel with you standing on the deck. They will be so smitten that we can then board and take what we like while they sigh." Now he's flattering and teasing again and those are much easier waters to navigate. "Soon they will not even have to be boarded. They will lay gems at your feet."

Dante laughs pleasantly, keeping his head right where it was. He purrs quietly, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, relaxed in the lap of someone he's actually come to trust a good bit. And who sounds, and smells, like home. "Gems, hm?" He says, amused and quiet, "If only."

Matteo brushes the fingers of the and not holding his glass over Dante's hair. "You think this is not true? The day you leave this life and the life of piracy behind, both the customers and those at sea will mourn your return to Antivan soil to take your inheritance. I will also mourn the lack of company and the ability to chase after such prizes."

"Oh, Matteo…" Dante says with another laugh, "Should I return to our Antiva in such a time that you are still terrorizing the seas, I will make you a privateer and you can chase all sorts of adventure with the backing of the very spoils you had sought." Because he wasn't about to offer a pirate a life on land, he knew better than to expect such from a sailor.

"All the more reason to see you back where you belong." Matteo says, still brushing his fingers over Dante's hair. He may be a pirate, but he knows the want of being able to return home. Even if home is his ship docked in the city of his birth. "And then I will chase down the world for you. What good is such an adventure if you can't bring back prizes?"

"Careful, Matteo, or I must start thinking you're sweet on me." Dante says with a mischievious grin. "But you may bring me back whatever prizes you like. I will cherish them, though I would not require them of you. It would only be the return of services offered. My father may have paid you for my passage, but someday I will need to repay this friendship."

"What good is friendship if it must be repaid? And who is to say?" Which is where Matteo leaves it. "For now, I can offer you dinner aboard if you like. Your cabin is still dry and should remain so. At some point she will be filled with men working to repair her, but only during the day. I am sure you are more accustomed to land, but this city does not give you the welcome you deserve. Even a dockside whore would be worth ten times what they would pay you here." He's Antivan, he has some pride. "My mother would have seen this place and walked directly toward the first ship home."

"Friends deserve to be appreciated for their support, and that appreciation ought to be worthy of the station of the person giving it." Dante sends back, but not confrontationally. "And that sounds… Honestly, Matteo, that sounds like the best evening I've had in months." He says with a sigh. "This place, honestly, it's not that bad. They're… Fair. Mostly." Yeah, mostly. "And it's understood that I bloody a fool's nose, it's their damn fault."

"Then I will hope to be worthy of that." Matteo decides. "Then you should come whenever you like, as often as you like." As for the fairness of the Rose? "Fair. Dante, you are a prince amongst weeds here. They should fall on their knees and thank the Maker for your presence. Mostly fair is an insult. No, I grew up in a whorehouse and this place?" He shakes his head. Biased. Completely biased.

"Oh trust me, I know it is." Dante responds, trying hard to keep the pained tone out of his voice. As it turns out, much here is an insult of what he should have.

Matteo sighs. "Forgive me. I am far too prideful to not take insult at all of this for you." Not that has ANY issue with the whole 'whore' concept. He's used to those, they're about as home as it gets. So he's merely going to pet Dante's hair and offer as much comfort in that as he can. At least, as a pirate, he's generally feared enough to command respect.

As it turns out, the people one should fear are the people most loved in Antiva in many ways. Pirates, assassins, cutthroat merchants, these were the people that were Antivan heroes. And so it does not make Dante shy away, just turning his face to find the darkness in hiding in the crook of Matteo's neck. "It is fine." He says then, "I just do not often let my… Distaste for this show. It does not pay well to do so."

"Yet it is difficult to hold these things in, yes? You have my word, we will not speak of such things when you visit. I am still sickened by the way they seem to casual about your presence. If you had given up your station in defiance to become a whore, they would have sung songs for you. This place…" Matteo shakes his head. "It does not have enough fire, I am afraid. We will see you treated better. It may take time, but eventually. If I could, I would go back and challenge your father myself."

"To be fair, Matteo, they do not know who I am." Dante says, taking a deep breath and settling actually rather comfortably. "It is not as though they know what any of my names mean. No matter how many times I flourish them for the sake of exoticism." And he's content to lean there, and frankly, Dante will take the praise. He's never been one to refuse it.

"They should be able to look at you and see it." Matteo, of course, is convinced of this. "They lack the ability to see. "You need no list of names or titles. You must forgive me, this place insults you and THAT insults me. At least someone here knows how you should be treated. It is little comfort, but temporarily… we do what we must."

"We do what we must, indeed." Dante answers to that with a small smile, and shifts to sit more upright again. Placing a kiss to Matteo's cheek, he turns back to drinking his wine. "You are quite a comfort, I think. You make sense when the rest of this place does not."

Matteo implies a bow without even moving, and he takes a drink of his wine before saying anything. "It is the same for the both of us, I think. You give me comfort by speaking in a way that makes more sense than anything said to me by the denizens of this city. I will admit, your profession does not hurt the effect." He grins as he speaks. "We will have to have more talks. Since we two are the only ones here who seem to make any sense and because I am not at all opposed to having such beauty draped over my lap."

"Well, I am glad I can be of assistance." Dante says with a small laugh, his gaze turning on the room around them. The milling and working and drinking and flirting… He had come to know this dance well, so quickly. It maybe ought to disturb him how easily he had learned this trade, how naturally it had come, but really he is mostly just thankful. If it had been awkward? He likely would not have lasted. "You may come speak with me anytime you like, Captain. There just might be times you're sent upstairs because it's too early and I refuse to get out of bed."

"I will have to make sure I bring a proper gift to apologize for disturbing you." Matteo decides. "You should not have to worry about getting out of your bed to receive admirers." His survey of the room is a little more disdainful but he's made it clear that this place falls below his standards in regards to Dante. It's a slight to Antivan pride, really. "And the offer is open. Whenever you wish, your cabin belongs to you."

Dante laughs again, and nods. "Well, if you bring a nice enough gift, I might just let you lounge with me, if I'm not going to get out of bed." And that is spoken as though he is very serious about the idea. "Thank you." He says then, "I will keep that in mind on the nights I don't want to look at this place."

"Then that, my dear man, is a challenge I will accept." Matteo replies, grinning broadly and now every bit the pirate, though no less sincere. "May this place forever look like a crumbling shack to you if that is what it takes. You deserve comforts and as many touches of home as we can gather for you." To which he is going to drink the rest of his wine.


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